26 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Appointment ‘new blow to morale’

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A former aide to United States President Donald Trump, Sean Doocey (pictured) has been appointed to a senior position at the Department of State’s Bureau of International Organisation Affairs.

Sources within the Department said putting another political appointee with little experience in multilateral affairs in the top ranks of an Agency responsible for managing US relations with the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and other international organisations was another blow to the morale of career officers.

Mr Doocey’s appointment comes just weeks after the White House announced that Pam Pryor would serve as the bureau’s Acting Assistant Secretary of State.

Ms Pryor, an aide to former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin served as Mr Trump’s liaison to evangelical Christians during the 2016 General Election.

She previously worked as a senior advisor in the Department of State’s Office of Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, where she promoted international abortion restrictions and advocated for the rights of Christian minorities in the Middle East.

Foreign delegates say that the high-level appointments reinforce suspicions that the Trump Administration has little interest in multilateral diplomacy, beyond its stated desire to counter Chinese diplomatic influence.

“It adds to the narrative that this is a domestic-focused Administration and they don’t really care what’s happening here,” one UN-based diplomat said.

Mr Doocey will be Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Management Issues, responsible for handling the Department’s budget and senior appointments of American nationals to international jobs.

He is also expected to play a role in ramping up the Department’s capacity to contain China’s ability to secure top jobs at the UN.

Washington, 7 March 2020

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